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With its focus on the traditions and communities that form us over the course of a lifetime, virtue ethics has richly expanded our understanding of what the Christian life can look like. Yet its emphasis on human virtues and habits of mind and life seems inconsistent with the Reformed tradition's insistence that sin lies at the heart of the human condition. For this reason, virtue ethics seems out of place in Reformed theology, especially in the company of the Reformed tradition's greatest twentieth-century theologian, Karl Barth.
In this new addition to the Columbia Series in Reformed Theology, Kirk Nolan argues that Barth's theology actually proves virtue ethics can be compatible with the Reformed tradition. Rather than see virtue as an inevitable and natural process of growth, Barth helps us understand that development in the Christian life comes through a process of repetition and renewal, and that all virtue comes solely as a gift from God. Nolan establishes an important bridge between Reformed moral teaching and the tradition of virtue ethics.
Fundamental Theology examines the light by which the mysteries of Christ and the Church, the Trinity and the Sacraments, are revealed to us. That light we call "revelation," and fundamental theology examines in the first place what this light shows about itself, and how it is sustained in the world. Or again, fundamental theology considers what the word of God has to say both about itself and what it has to say about where in the world it is to be heard. So, first it is a theology of Revelation (chapter 1), and second, a theology of the transmission of Revelation in Tradition, Scripture, and the Church (chapters 2, 3, and 4). Why must Revelation have the shape it does, and why must it be constituted by both word and event? Why is Tradition prior to Scripture, why must the word of God be written down, and why must Scripture come to us in two testaments? And why must the message conveyed in Tradition and Scripture have a living interpreter in the Church? Since no word is spoken unless it is heard, fundamental theology also investigates the conditions of hearing the word of God, the very hearing itself in the assent of faith, and a necessary consequence of this hearing. The remote conditions of hearing are also what theology calls our ability to come to the knowledge of the preambula fidei- the things about God than can be known by the natural light (chapter 5). The immediate condition of hearing is the credibility of the word (chapter 6). Hearing is faith (chapter 7). And true hearing gives the hearer to recapitulate what is heard in his own wondering and thankful voice in theology (chapter 8). The introduction to theology in the last chapter is by way of considering the history of Catholic theology in the 20th century.
Humility in the modern world is neither well understood nor well received. Many see it as a sign of weakness; others decry it as a Western construct whose imposition onto marginalized persons only perpetuates oppression. This skepticism has a long pedigree: Aristotle, for instance, pointed to humility as a shameless front. What then are we to make of the New Testament's valorization of this trait? Translated from German into English for the first time, Paul on Humility seeks to reclaim the original sense of humility as an ethical frame of mind that shapes community, securing its centrality in the Christian faith. This exploration of humility begins with a consideration of how the concept plays into current cultural crises before considering its linguistic and philosophical history in Western culture. In turning to the roots of Christian humility, Eve-Marie Becker focuses on Philippians 2, a passage in which Paul appeals to the lowliness of Christ to encourage his fellow Christians to persevere. Becker shows that humility both formed the basis of the ethic Paul instilled in churches and acted as a mimetic device centered on Jesus' example that was molded into the earliest Christian identity and community. Becker resists the urge to cheapen humility with mere moralism. In the vision of Paul, the humble individual is one immersed in a complex, transformative way of being. The path of humility does not constrain the self; rather, it guides the self to true freedom in fellowship with others. Humility is thus a potent concept that speaks to our contemporary anxieties and discomforts. Not for sale in Europe.
Learn the Key Teachings of the Bible that Every Christian Should Know. Now Revised and Updated. Over 300,000 Copies Sold! Not every Christian needs to go to seminary, but there are key teachings of the Bible that every Christian should know. Whether you're a relatively new believer in Jesus or a mature Christian looking for a better understanding of basics of the faith, Christian Beliefs is for you. This simple and clear guide to twenty basic Christian beliefs condenses respected pastor's Wayne Grudem's award-winning book Systematic Theology, prized by pastors and teachers everywhere. He and his son, pastor Elliot Grudem, have created a reader-friendly guide for everyday Christians. Each brief chapter concludes with questions for personal review or group discussion. In this revised and updated edition of Christian Beliefs, you will learn about: The Bible and its authority for our lives The characteristics of God The importance of prayer Angels and the reality of spiritual warfare What it means that we are created in the image of God What God has done for us in Christ The purpose of the church What will happen when Christ returns The biblical understanding of heaven And much more Christian Beliefs is the ideal book for every Christian who wants a solid foundation for understanding the most basic and essential teachings of the Bible.
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